Friday, June 28, 2013

Bannerghatta Biological Park

Bangalore. There is always an exaggerated hype about this particular city. I was eagerly awaiting to enter the state of Karnataka and I actually did a couple of weeks back. The pleasant weather and the Tamil-speaking auto-wallahs welcomed me to the non-metropolitan Bangalore. Well, it has not attained that status officially. At least that is what the Government says. I remained so surprised about the pleasant weather throughout my visit and what caused it. The first two days were the usual shopping days at mega shopping malls in the city and my wonder about the no-sun factor. We planned for a visit to the gardens of the city the next day. After all, it is the garden city of India.

Bannerghatta National Park
I was changing the TV channels and finally settled at Discovery. That was when I got this idea of the zoo safari which my friends  had mentioned. I asked my uncle to take us to the Bannerghatta Biological Park. My dad and I took the two-wheeler. Others took the car. He rode the bike and I was sitting on the pillion incessantly talking about the place, weather, buildings, roads, signs and almost everything that occurred to my mind. My dad escaped my non-sense talk. Rightly said that Helmet is a life-saving one. He was wearing a helmet and he escaped my speech. We followed the car; the ride was 26 KMs and took around an hour to reach the destination. 

We parked our vehicles at the parking lot and made our way to the ticket counter only to find that only the zoo is opened for the public and the safari tickets would be available after 3.30 PM. Everyone took it easy as they shouldered their way through the crowd to the gate. I hastened to the zoo entrance turning my head often to the Safari part. The very first sight of the white peacock displaying with that loud shrill made me jump in joy along with my sister's 3 year old kid. 

This followed by several other birds. Various species of Macaw and their flamboyant display of their colours was a visual treat. They were so active and were flying, jumping and giving shrill noises. Parrots, Pelicans, Monkeys, Deer, Crocodiles were in large number and of different varieties. Sambar, Black buck, Neelgai and several more followed. 

There were 6 emus and a pair of Ostriches and I was only amazed to find that many animals in that park were adopted by celebrities. Former Indian bowler Anil Kumble has adopted very many species. He is also the Vice Chairman of the State board of Wild Life.  Wild Elephants were silently grazing and so the Zebra. 

Bears constantly roamed around to draw our attention.The Wolves and the Jackals silently lied at one end of their cage without responding to the people trying to provoke them. The Lion-tailed Macaque and the Hanuman Langurs climbed out of their cage and played with the people around. The reptiles weren't much of an attraction as they hid and proved difficult to spot them. 

The Porcupines and their spines made me feel a shiver down my spine. The Leopard's growl instantly drew much people near their cage and a big leopard kept walking with frequent roars. The Hippopotamuses were playing among themselves and they didn't mind us, so we. Ducks, Platypuses and Otters also added beauty to the wildlife present.

The white peacock welcomed us in and now the Indian peacocks gave us a warm exit. Two of them made brilliant spectacular displays. There were a series of sudden flashes and another peacock started displaying. I wondered how much they love attraction as we do. 

This brought the end of the zoo and my safari dream was still there at the back of my mind. I ran to the ticket counter to ask if there were any tickets issued. They gave us a positive reply as my face became bright and we bought them. We were the last ones to buy them.

They took us in a grill-windowed van along a bumpy road which made everyone jump and everything jump. First of the few animals to be spotted were deer, bison and a couple of really wild elephants. Everyone in the van had cell phones or handy cams and they incessantly clicked. We entered the Bear Safari zone only to find them playing inside their cage. So far, the safari had nothing to thrill us. Then it happened. 

We entered the Tiger and Lion safari. To our left, far away there were a pack of lions roaring and moving around. We stopped there for a few minutes and started. Suddenly the van before us stopped and everyone looked through the grills to find a young lioness moving in a circle growling loud and hard. That was the very first incident to shake us. It practically didn't allow us to go. We waited for her to move but she never gave up. So we changed our route and proceeded.

And then the other came. A Tigress between our vans. It moved from one side of the road to other. I was sitting in the last window seat and she came near me, lifted her face. I saw her canines glowing right in front of my eyes at less than 2 feet, only a grill between us. I sat stuck to my seat and I didn't dare to take my camera out to take a flash. 

She moved away from me and I peeped outside to find a white Tiger standing at one corner. He seemed so weak and old. I was recording their movements till my uncle pulled me in. The first tigress came back near me and she saw me. I looked at her eyes, her whiskers, tongue lashing in and out. I felt awe-inspired by her and she stood there for what seemed like an eternity.

We proceeded with her image vivid in my mind to be stopped by a group of 3 young Tigers. They were so active. Two of them noticed the vans and they rushed towards us. If they simultaneously attacked the van, it would certainly topple. But they bumped into each other and one jumped on the other. The third stood in its hind legs and its fore legs on the cage fence. Majestic one really. That sight marked the end of the safari. 

We were told the story of two small boys who managed to sneak into the park only to find the death the very next day. They believe the elephants caused it. But I would say the boys caused it. The animals reflect our behaviour. We came out of the park and filled our hungry stomachs. In a few minutes we hit the main road leading to our home. I will remember this safari for many more years to come. 

Bannerghatta National park is situated 22 Kms south of Bangalore. The official website is hereThe journey to the park takes nearly one hour from Bangalore.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A brief memoir for a brief life.

Writing an article with a word limit? Writing an article with 1000 words or more is always easy. A rant about something has been a walk in the park for me. I have always been remembered fondly as a garrulous and an obstreperous one in any place I have made my presence. But being brief, that's a difficult one. Brevity is the soul of wit. Fine, let me try. (Yes, I know that I have already started to rant!)

A 6 word Memoir. Describe self in 6 words. Everything I have acquired or yet to acquire is  by experience. Things in life are always split into two categories. Learning and Teaching. Once I have learnt something, my job doesn't end with doing it, explore it and I have to teach it. This completes a cycle. See an eagle. An eaglet learns to fly by falling from its mother. And later, it teaches its eaglets to fly by falling. 

And here goes my 6-word Memoir. 

Learning from experiences, teaching after exploring. 

This six word memoir is part of a CBC (Chennai Bloggers Club) tag to encourage and enliven the spirit of blogging. Chennai Bloggers club is a Chennai based group through which we keep the blogging spirit alive. Discussions, learning and teaching. Apart from that, we are also constantly involved in social issues. This tag was passed on to me by Karen Xavier-Fernandez who blogs at Contemplations and Ruminations and I am passing it on to Ashwini, who blogs at 
Just The Way I Like
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